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04 Three Ways

“I do not seek applause, nor to amuse the people, I want to convince them.” —Abraham Lincoln

2017 David Hirsch and Dan Van Haften AUTHOR'S VOICE® The Ultimate Guide to the Gettysburg Address

2010 Virtual Book Signing™ at the Abraham Lincoln Book Shop (video).

You can read Abraham Lincoln and the Structure of Reason on different levels:

1. Enjoyment: Pure enjoyment. The book can be read to enjoy the Lincoln stories and the associated history. On this level it is not necessary to fully understand the Euclidean process that Lincoln used to compose speeches and writings. It is sufficient to be aware that process exists, and the general effect of the process. Enjoy.

Steps for those who want more:

2. Understand Lincoln's Structural Method: It takes a more effort to get a good understanding of the six elements of a proposition. Work through the demarcations in the text, and perhaps work through the demarcations in the Appendix. The joy here is Lincoln himself is teaching you. The structure of his own words allows you to get inside his head and understand his composition choices. His words come to life.

Memorize the names of the six elements of a proposition. Then memorize the definitions of the six elements. Then focus on how the six elements relate to each other.

3. Internalize the Process: Internalizing the process. Email from a well-known scholar observes that Abraham Lincoln and the Structure of Reason is one of the few books that reads even better the second time through. The third level of understanding, internalizing Lincoln’s structural system, requires work. It may have taken Lincoln a few years to figure out and internalize the system. It took David Hirsch two years to internalize the system, to get to the point where he felt comfortable with the process and could use it without looking back at parts of the book (then in draft format). Using the process means more than just being able to demarcate a Lincoln speech. It means being able to compose your own speeches, presentations and writings using the six elements of a proposition. It becomes easy when you think like the elements are structured.

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